Drew Sierra and Billy Tan Named Pasadena Sports Now Doubles Team of the Year: Maranatha Duo Won Olympic League, Led Minutemen to CIF Finals

Published : Friday, June 16, 2017 | 5:00 AM

Tan (r) and Sierra (l) shaking hands

Billy Tan and Drew Sierra had very few things in common.

Tan was born and grew up in China, while Sierra is a Californian.

While it isn’t his first language, Tan’s ability to grasp English and communicating in our country in just his second year here has been incredibly impressive.

Sierra loves Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tan is a fan of the world champion Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Cavs a couple days ago in the NBA finals.

Sierra is tall and lean, while Tan has more of a solid build.

Sierra just graduated and Tan will come back to the United States in a month or so to complete his junior year.

But one thing they had in common was their love of tennis, and over time, Sierra and Tan got to know each other, relied on each other, and excelled together.

Drew Sierra Serving
They represented Maranatha as the No. 1 doubles team and they went 36-3 in the regular season, including an Olympic League doubles championship and earned the league’s doubles’ MVP.

Sierra and Tan went 20-1 in league matches, and helped lead the Minutemen to the CIF-SS Division 4 title match.

And while all three doubles teams struggled mightily in the title loss to Los Osos, Maranatha would have never been in a position to win a championship without Sierra and Tan.

For their ability to come together and gel as the area’s best doubles program, and doing their part in leading Maranatha to the school’s first title match appearance in the boys program, Sierra and Tan have been named the Pasadena Sports Now Doubles Team of the Year.

Said MHS coach Arthur Hsieh: “Drew is a great rags-to-riches story, not knowing how to actually play tennis in his freshman year, then coming from ahead to lose in at least a dozen sets as a sophomore, to being #1 doubles for us his junior and senior seasons, winning both the league doubles MVP and league tournament championships both years. He’s a great locker room guy whose presence on the team will be missed.”

Their greatest combined victory was in the CIF Division 4 semifinals late in the match against Mission Viejo.

Sierra and Tan trailed 4-5 in their last of three matches and rallied to earn the victory in the game, and it also clinched the semifinal team win that sent Maranatha to the Claremont Club.

“I feel like we did our part in leaving the program better than when we found it,” Sierra said. “When I struggled, Billy stepped up and it really impressed me. When I was younger, I looked up to the senior leadership and that inspired me to do the same as a senior.”

Sierra and Tan suffered just one league loss to Valley Christian in the regular season, but in the Olympic League finals, the Maranatha tandem beat that same team, 6-0, 6-1.

“Billy worked on his game a lot in the off-season, not only improving his game, but also learning how to play big in the big points,” Hsieh said. “He’ll be one of our big leaders next season, who will need to take the baton and help lead the way for us.”

Tan gave his take on why they became champions as a duo.

“Drew has lot of great volley skills and courage to take the challenges, and I’m more of a ground-stroke guy,” Tan said. “We talk a lot during the match, and our communication skills were good. When we’re up, we’re able to finish. We both have determination to win, and neither of us give up when we were down.”

Tan is back in China for the summer, but wanted his partner to know something.

“I am going to miss Drew and the time we played together,” Tan said. “He is a really funny guy and he pumps the whole team up. I hope he knows how much he and my coaches and teammates mean to me. They helped me adjust to being in a different country, and I am thankful to all of them for that.”

Getting To Know Billy Tan:
Favorite Athlete: Michael Jordan
Favorite Team: Warriors
Favorite Movie: Matrix
Favorite Musician: Jack Xue
Musician On Ipod Some Might Find Surprising: Coldplay
Famous Person (alive or dead) I’d Want A Coversation With: Bill Gates

Getting To Know Drew Sierra:
Favorite Athlete: Lebron James
Favorite Team: Cavaliers
Favorite Movie: Back to the Future
Favorite Musician: Kanye West
Musician On Ipod Some Might Find Surprising: Justin Bieber
Famous Person (alive or dead) I’d Want A Coversation With: Walt Disney